• Wed, Jul 27 2011

L’Oreal Ads Featuring Julia Roberts And Christy Turlington Have Been Banned


Lancome and Maybelline (both owned by L’Oreal) came under intense scrutiny for ads featuring supermodel Christy Turlington (above) and superstar Julia Roberts (below) that some said went too far with the airbrushing. Member of Parliament Jo Swinson found the images overly manipulated (she has a long-running campaign against “overly perfected and unrealistic images” of women in adverts) and so lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

L’Oreal admitted that the images were ”digitally retouched to lighten the skin, clean up makeup, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows,” but  that the ads “accurately illustrated the achieveable results.” When tasked with presenting the pre-production images as a defense, L’Oreal provided photos of Turlington and Roberts on the red carpet to show that they are “naturally beautiful.” In defense of Turlington and Roberts, both are indeed very beautiful but they also have pores.

Moreover, (according to Styleite) Roberts has a clause in her contract forbidding the unedited images from release. Swinson rightly points out this “shows just how ridiculous things have become, when there is such fear over an unairbrushed photo that even the advertising regulator isn’t permitted to see it.”

The ASA ruled that both ads “breached the advertising standards code for exaggeration and being misleading,” They’ve been banned from future publication.

Is this a victory?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

Oh, and here’s Roberts’ ad:

(via the Independent, the Guardian)

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  • Anabelle

    geuss I don’t see how these are worse than all the other ads out there. but julia roberts does look, like, particularly creepy here.

  • Haley

    I thought Christy Turlington’s was banned because it looks like a phallus is projecting from her face.

    • Midge

      Fuck I can’t unsee that now!
      My only problem with the ads is that the first one makes it look like the product can erase freckles, and as someone with a ton of freckles I am deeply offended by this. Baahhh not really but it’s still a little weird.

  • Matt

    I personally don’t agree with ad regulation in this day and age. Ads are produced to sell products. If people cared enough to research online, they would find the best one from user reviews, not ads. I’m not going to eat my wheaties because they will turn me into a professional athlete. Use your head when shopping.